A bet can be put into minutes. Anyone with credit cards can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free to place bets on sports like Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slots, roulette, ufa blackjack, poker etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who is going to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna gets a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars and in accordance with whether you win or lose the total amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can then either be mailed for you or left for future bets.
The law associated with online gambling in India needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. At the outset, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, will not receive express encouragement by policy makers. The Indian organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While stringent laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and traditional gaming centres as in lots of other countries, barring hawaii of Goa, the lottery business remains probably the most post popular type of gambling.
Though gambling isn’t illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is really a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal plus the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that hawaii governments have the authority to enact laws so as to regulate gambling in the respective states. Thus, there is absolutely no single law governing gambling in the complete country. Different states have different laws governing gambling as well as the laws that have an application across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state lotteries marketed and distributed in other lottery playing and promoting states through private entities.
Regulation of gambling
The courts have defined gambling as ‘the payment of a cost for to be able to win a prize’. The dominant component of skill or chance shall determine the nature of the game. A casino game could be deemed to be gambling if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. Because of this, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and some card games aren’t gambling. The right to undertake the business of gambling and lotteries is not considered as a simple right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be remarked that the state government run lotteries make significant contributions to hawaii exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and hence there is a resistance to perform prohibition.
The following legislation is pertinent to gambling:
The Public Gaming Act, 1867
This Act provides punishment for public gambling and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises the state governments to enact laws to regulate public gambling in their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended in accordance with their policy on gambling. However, this legislation does not have any direct impact on online gambling unless a wide interpretation is given to the definition of common gaming house in order to include virtual forums as well.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is a codified umbrella legislation that governs all commercial contracts in India. Under the ICA, a wagering contract is the one which cannot be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements through wager are void, and no suit will be brought for recovering anything purported to be won on any wager or entrusted to anybody to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event which any wager is made’. Gambling, lottery and prize games have held to be wagering contracts and thus void and unenforceable. While a wagering contract isn’t illegal, it cannot be enforced in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any cause of action that arises out of a wagering contract.
Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998
This Act offers a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, hawaii governments have been authorized to market as well as prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also offers the manner in which the lotteries should be conducted and prescribes punishment in case of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have already been made an offence beneath the Indian Penal Code. Several non-lottery playing states, like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have prohibited the sale of other state-government lotteries under this Act.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 294A handles keeping lottery office. It says that whoever keeps any office or place for the intended purpose of drawing any lottery not being truly a State lottery or perhaps a lottery authorised by the State Government, will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.
And whoever publishes any proposal to cover any sum, or even to deliver any goods, or to do or forbear doing anything for the benefit of anybody, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in virtually any such lottery, will be punished with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.